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White confirms Belfort is Bisping's golden ticket

ESPN staff
December 30, 2012

UFC 155 proved to be a big event for Michael Bisping, whose title hopes were raised without him needing to set foot inside the Octagon.

Bisping has long championed his cause for a middleweight title collision with Anderson Silva, and president Dana White confirmed on Saturday he will definitely get one if the Brit beats Vitor Belfort on January 19.

Two fellow contenders, Tim Boetsch and Alan Belcher, were both beaten in Las Vegas, leaving Bisping and Chris Weidman as the two outstanding contenders at 185lbs.

However, Weidman is injured for several months and still needs to prove himself worthy of a title crack in the eyes of the UFC's top brass. Bisping, by contrast, is fit, healthy, and can lay down a marker if he beats Belfort.

"If Bisping wins, he'll get the shot," White said after UFC 155.

Bisping has been in such a position before, losing pivotal contests with Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen to fall at the final hurdle. Nobody has ever won as many UFC bouts as Bisping (13) without earning a shot at the belt, with Belfort being the Brit's 18th rival.

Belfort comes into the fight off a stoppage at the hands of Jon Jones at light-heavyweight. If he emerges victorious over Bisping, it is believed the UFC will look elsewhere for Silva's next rival.

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